Provence in Bloom:A Guide to the Best Times to Visit - Only Provence
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Provence in Bloom:A Guide to the Best Times to Visit

Exploring the Seasonal Blooms and Harvests of Provence

Provence, a picturesque region in the south of France, is renowned for its landscapes, vibrant colors, and aromatic scents that vary beautifully with the seasons. Each period of the year brings a new spread of colors and fragrances, making Provence the perfect destination for nature lovers and travelers seeking the serene rural beauty in France. In this post, we’ll explore the seasonal blooms of Provence and recommend the best times to visit to experience the region’s natural splendor at its peak.

Spring (March to May)

Spring in Provence is a period of awakening, as the countryside bursts into life with the first blooms of the year. The weather begins to warm up, making it an ideal time for outdoor activities and garden visits.

Almond Blossoms: As early as March, almond trees start to bloom, spotting the landscape with their delicate pink and white flowers. The Luberon and Valensole Plateau are particularly picturesque during this time.

Cherry Blossoms: Following the almond blossoms, cherry trees bloom in April, creating a stunning display of dusty white blood against the backdrop of Provencal villages.

Poppies and other assorted Wildflowers: The region’s meadows and fields become a tapestry of colors with wildflowers such as red poppies, bright pink valerian and irises peaking from April to May. The joy of these amazing blooms is that they seem to pop out just about anywhere the wind blew the seed— in between a piles of stones or along a rock wall.

Summer (June to August)

Summer in Provence is a vibrant season, characterized by long, warm days and the famous lavender fields in full bloom. This is the peak tourist season, so expect larger crowds, especially in the well-known lavender spots.

Lavender: The star of the season, lavender, usually blooms from late June to August, with the peak in July. The areas around Sault, Valensole, and the Luberon are covered in shades of purple and are a must-visit for their iconic landscapes and the soothing scent of lavender in the air.

Here are some of the best places to see lavender fields in Provence:

  1. Valensole Plateau: Perhaps the most iconic lavender destination in Provence, the Valensole Plateau is vast and offers endless rows of lavender that stretch as far as the eye can see. The area is dotted with picturesque farmhouses and sunflower fields, providing perfect photo opportunities.
  2. Sault: Located at the base of Mont Ventoux, Sault is known as the “Lavender Capital” and offers a more elevated perspective of lavender fields, which cascade down the slopes of the surrounding hills. The area celebrates its lavender heritage with an annual festival around August 15th.
  3. Luberon Valley: The Luberon, with its charming hilltop villages like Bonnieux, Gordes and Roussillon, offers a patchwork of lavender fields set against a backdrop of medieval villages and rugged landscapes.  The valley down below the village of Bonnieux heading towards Goult is a well-known spot for picture taking. The Claparèdes plateau between Bonnieux and Saignon is also known for its vibrant display.  Stop in and visit the Lavender Distillery in “Les Agnels” to learn about the distillation process.  The Abbaye de Senanque, a 12th-century Cistercian abbey near Gordes, is also particularly famous for its picturesque lavender fields.
  4. Plateau d’Albion: This area, less crowded than Valensole, is known for its vast expanses of lavender. It’s ideal for those seeking tranquility away from the main tourist spots.
  5. Coussoul de Simiane-la-Rotonde: This area is known for its wild lavender fields. Simiane-la-Rotonde itself is a picturesque village worth exploring.

When planning a visit to these areas, it’s a good idea to check local resources or contact local tourism offices for the exact timing of the lavender bloom, as it can vary slightly from year to year based on weather conditions. Also, consider exploring the region in the early morning or late afternoon when the light is most photogenic and the temperatures are cooler.

Image shows a typical colorful landscape in Provence, France. A sunflower field is combined with a lavender field in the foreground and a neglected barn in the background.

Sunflowers: By July, sunflower fields begin to shine, offering stunning vistas that contrast beautifully with the purple lavender and the blue Provençal sky.

Herbs of Provence: The countryside is also aromatic with wild herbs like thyme, rosemary, and sage, which are typically in full bloom and at their most fragrant during the summer months.

Autumn (September to November)

Autumn brings a cooler climate and a change in the landscape’s color palette, offering a more subtle kind of beauty. This is a great time to visit for those who prefer a quieter experience and the richness of autumnal colors.

Grape Harvest: While not a bloom, the grape harvest (vendange) in September is a significant and picturesque event in Provence’s wine regions, such as the Rhône Valley and Luberon.

Olive Harvest: Starting in late autumn, the olive groves become busy with the harvest, and the changing colors of the leaves add to the charm of the landscape.

Olives harvest picking in farmer basket at Mediterranean

Winter (December to February)

Winter in Provence is mild compared to other parts of Europe, with occasional snow in the higher regions. While not a season for traditional blooms, it offers its own serene beauty and fewer tourists.

Truffles and Seasonal Markets: Winter is truffle season in Provence, and visiting the truffle markets can be a unique experience. The region’s Christmas markets also offer a festive atmosphere with local crafts and delicacies.

Traveling to Provence? Rent a luxury villa…

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Benefits of Luxury Villa Rentals

One of the many benefits of renting a luxury villa is having a genuinely private yet authentic experience in Provence, complete with in-home chef services.

Below are some of the few great benefits of a luxury villa over other traditional accommodation options.

  • Personalized experiences such as private chefs and organized tours and activities;
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  • Private luxury villas are ideal for groups of families or friends traveling together.

If you are interested in renting a luxury villa in Provence, reach out to Only Provence or book now.

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Jumping the Picket Fence Light Through the Cracks

Only Provence co-founder Lydia Dean writes about their experiences raising a family, building a business in Provence, and later combining the love of travel with giving back in "Jumping the Picket Fence”. In 2021, she published “Light Through the Cracks,” a continuation of her journey, much of which has been based in Provence. Both books are available Amazon,, and Amazon.Fr.